13:04 PM

More Than 750 Students Receive Degrees at Spring Commencement

By Dan Silvia

Seven hundred seventy-five Bellevue University students crossed the stage at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Saturday, June 2, to receive their diplomas at the University’s spring commencement ceremony. Among the graduates was Preston Love Jr., who received his Master’s Degree in Professional Studies.

Dr. Michelle Eppler & Preston Love Jr.

Love, 75, is a well-known figure in the state and across the nation. He is recognized as a former Husker football player, IBM pioneer marketing executive and micro-computer innovator, newspaper columnist for the Omaha Star and author of two books: Economic Cataracts and The Jackson Papers. He has worked for key political figures, including Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and he organized and led the Presidential campaign of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984.

Jason Snow, Dr. Mary Hawkins, U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer

“The transformation and empowerment that we create in students is remarkable,” said University President Mary Hawkins, “and Preston Love Jr. exemplifies that. The students we serve best are those who, like Preston, have invested in themselves and are motivated to get to the next level.” According to Love, his Bellevue University degree program was stimulating on several levels. “The ability to align my desired educational goals with relevant course work was the key for me,” he said, “not just to get a master’s (degree), but to get a master’s that I can apply to my world now.”

The commencement ceremony featured Jason Snow as the student speaker. Snow, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree, will be taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) shortly after commencement and will be applying to medical school. To support his wife and 5-year-old son, Snow works as an Uber driver in the metro area.

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska was the spring commencement speaker. Sen. Fischer is a lifelong Nebraskan who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Before her election to the U.S. Senate, Fischer served in the Nebraska Unicameral, representing the 43rd Legislative District.

According to University Registrar Colette Lewis, the University conferred 838 degrees from Jan. 1 through April 30, 2018. This includes 564 undergraduate degrees and 274 master’s degrees.